DHS suspends immigration agreements with Arizona in wake of Court ruling

Via Ace, that headline makes it sound like O pulled the plug because the Court found most of the law unconstitutional. No sense in complying with a statute that’s no longer legally in effect, right? But no: The section he’s limiting cooperation on is 2(b), authorizing Arizona cops to check the status of people whom they reasonably suspect are here illegally. That’s the one part that the Court upheld. What he’s doing, in other words, is using the ruling as political cover to reduce enforcement, no doubt as a complement to his DREAM gambit to win over Latino voters. If the Court won’t nullify the entire law, The One will.

The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.

Administration officials, speaking on condition they not be named, told reporters they expect to see an increase in the number of calls they get from Arizona police — but that won’t change President Obama’s decision to limit whom the government actually tries to detain and deport…

Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person

On Monday the administration officials also said they are ending the seven 287(g) task force agreements with Arizona law enforcement officials, which proactively had granted some local police the powers to enforce immigration laws.

This is, de facto, amnesty for illegals in Arizona unless they’re serious criminals, and in that sense not unlike O’s new DREAM rule. The big objection to his DREAM policy is that he’s violating his oath to faithfully execute the laws in order to effectively change federal policy. That’s also true here, with the added wrinkle that state cops, by checking people’s status, are actually doing most of the heavy lifting of enforcement for him.

Via Mediaite, here’s Jan Brewer gamely trying to spin the Court’s decision even though it stands for the proposition that if the feds don’t want to do anything about the border, your state government’s more or less stuck with their (in)decision. After you watch that, go look at the chart over at U.S. News citing DHS’s own numbers. Has illegal immigration in Arizona fallen because of the new law, with illegals avoiding the state for more hospitable places like Texas? Or has it fallen for the same reason that illegal immigration generally has fallen, i.e. because after four years of Hopenchange “stimulus,” Mexico’s economy looks better than ours does these days?